Unique Ways To Preserve Your Fancy Flowers

Experts share their advice for giving your nice bouquets and arrangements new life.
Some flower arrangements are so pretty you can't bear to let them go.
Oscar Wong via Getty Images
Some flower arrangements are so pretty you can't bear to let them go.

From bridesmaid bouquets to special birthday arrangements, fancy flowers can be a great decor addition to your home. But unlike paintings or sculptures, fresh florals are generally a temporary adornment.

However long you’re able to extend the life of your cut flowers, the reality is they will eventually wither. But that doesn’t mean the trash is your only option in the end.

Below, we’ve rounded up some options for preserving flowers for the long term.

Displaying In Resin

“Preserved flowers are super on-trend right now,” said floral designer Kiara Hancock. “You can even find several places on Etsy that you can get your bouquet preserved in acrylic resin.”

Professionals can preserve your flowers in the form of resin art to display around your home ― or you can order more functional items like ring holders, candle holders, trays or coasters.

“If you do this, it could be a bit of an investment,” Hancock noted, adding that you would need to send them off as soon as possible after the event “so they can be conserved at the peak of their beauty.”

If you don’t want to send your flowers to a professional, you can also try a DIY kit to preserve them yourself.

Pressing And Framing

“What I often recommend to readers and people who ask is to take their beloved blooms and go to a pressed flower artist,” said Jill Brooke, editorial director of Flower Power Daily.

She suggested looking on Etsy or Facebook for pressed flower artists whose work you like and commissioning a work of art with your florals pressed in glass. If it’s your wedding bouquet, you might include the invitation or a photo from the big day in your creation.

“Preservationists are the best way to make an everlasting memory of your bouquet,” said florist Holly Heider Chapple. “Pressed flowers will last indefinitely if properly framed. I refer clients to Waterford Past-Thymes.”

There are also DIY options if you’d rather not pay for pressing or want more control over the outcome.

“If you’d prefer to press them, the quickest and easiest way to press flowers is by placing the blooms that you want to preserve between wax paper. You will certainly want to play around with how you arrange them so that it comes out how you wish,” Hancock explained.

Elva Etienne via Getty Images

“Once you have the flowers arranged between two pieces of wax paper, you can put them in the middle of the pages of a heavy book and close it,” she continued. “To really get that wow factor of fully pressed flowers, you will want to add extra weight on top of the book to make sure things get extra flat. Leave them alone for one to two weeks, and once they are done, you can arrange them in a clear glass frame display or hang them in your home.”

Making Jewelry

“To keep them long term and to make a fashion statement at the same time, you can have pieces of your bouquet preserved in jewelry,” Hancock suggested.

As with the art and home good options, there are lots of vendors on Etsy that will receive your flowers and preserve them as necklaces or rings, for instance.

“These are perfect options to layer with the jewelry you already wear and will be one-of-a-kind pieces that you can have on hand and even pass down to future generations!” Hancock added.

Drying

With wedding bouquets, drying is a popular and easy method to have a keepsake from the big day.

“It is oh-so-simple,” Hancock said. “All you need to do once you get home is undo the bouquet, rearrange it how you would like it to look, tie the stems together, and hang the flowers upside down for two to three weeks. Once they are dried to your liking, you can put them in a ceramic vase and display them in your home for days to come.”

The color of your flowers changes when you air-dry them.
Ivan via Getty Images
The color of your flowers changes when you air-dry them.

Will Dukas, president and co-founder of the flower delivery company Send Smiles, advised removing any foliage from the stems and leaving only the blooms at the top before drying. He also recommended hanging the flowers in a cool, dark place.

“The flowers will become brittle so make sure to keep it out of a high-traffic place, wherever you decide to display them!” Dukas said.

Of course, the color of the flowers does fade when you air-dry them, but some people prefer that look. Another option is freeze-drying, which better preserves the original color. You can pay a professional to freeze-dry your flowers and put them in a shadowbox or do it yourself if you happen to have freeze-drying equipment.

“Some try something called silica gel powder,” Brooke added, pointing to another DIY flower-drying method.